Toll road: There’s a new tariff in town

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By ERIC TEEL

With Congress passing widespread tax reform last year, many students and teachers at Pima Community College probably are wondering what these changes in the tax code mean to them. 

Passed on Dec. 20, the new law, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will have effects felt not just among students and teachers but throughout all taxpayers.

This bill has remained unpopular among those surveyed since its passage, with a Monmouth University poll released Dec. 18 putting disapproval for the bill at 47 percent. 

One of the most unpopular aspects of this bill to college students is that most of the benefits generated by this bill would go to the super wealthy, while by 2027, more than half of Americans are slated to pay more taxes. 

According to the tax policy center, 82.8 percent of the wealth created by these tax laws would go to the top 1 percent by the year 2027. Even this year, two-thirds of the new wealth created by this law will go to the top one-fifth of Americans. It’s easy to see with figures like this that this tax law favors big business over the Main Street and middle-class interests that would benefit Pima teachers and students.

One of the most concerning parts of this bill is that those who passed it in Congress and the White House are giving false accounts of who are going to profit the most from this bill. 

According to the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center, the bottom one-fifth of income earners would get an average of only $60. The average household would pay $1,610 less, a bump of 2.2 percent in the household income. 

For those with an income of more than $1 million, the benefit raises to $69,660, a bump of 3.3 percent to their income. Yes, this tax bill will give most Americans a tax cut this year but it will give larger benefits to richer households. On top of that, many of middle- and working-class American taxpayers that attend and teach at Pima would end up spending more on their taxes a decade from now under this bill

The further in the future someone looks the smaller and smaller the benefits get for the middle class. In 2027, the average household will receive an average savings of only 0.2 percent, or $160. This is roughly one-tenth of the amount they would save this year. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent would be saving over $46,000 that very same year. 

Any way you look at it, there is no denying that this bill is a Wall Street wishlist and a continuation of Reaganomics. According to current projections, this bill will add an additional $858 billion to the deficit. This will likely be paid for with cuts to food stamps, Medicare and Social Security as well as community aid programs and federal funding for community colleges. 

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